This set publishes two of the most influential critical works of the eighteenth century together for the first time. Richard Hurd's Letters on Chivalry and Romance and the second (enlarged) edition of Thomas Warton's Observations on the Fairy Queen appeared within a few months of each other in 1762. These two books, which together represented a new 'historical' criticism, established Spenser's Faerie Queene as a 'romantic' poem in the tradition of medieval romance and fictions of chivalry.
With the recent surge of interest in the eighteenth century origins of the literary canon, Hurd and Warton have attracted new critical attention as major figures of the Spenser revival of the time. Fairer's introduction draws on newly discovered material to place the works in their contemporary context. This set will prove an attractive and useful volume for Spenserians and eighteenth century scholars alike.